(19) Baylor Bears at (15) West Virginia Mountaineers (-3.5, 132 o/u)
Two Big 12 contenders are set to do battle tomorrow as the No. 19 Baylor Bears (17-5, 5-4 Big 12) travel to Morgantown to face the No. 15 West Virginia Mountaineers (18-4, 6-3 Big 12) at the WVU Coliseum (12:00 p.m. Eastern).
Baylor is just 5-4 since entering conference play, but the team comes in hot having won four of its last five, overall. Most recently, the Bears scored impressive wins over the No. 19 Texas Longhorns (83-60) and the TCU Horned Frogs (77-57).
“We just wanted to be aggressive, making sure we made shots. … We just prepared the right way. Prepare this hard, and it shows,” said Baylor guard Kenny Chery after the win over TCU. “I just wanted to come out and be aggressive, get guys involved and get the team going.”
Chery had 13 points, six assists, and five rebounds in the win over the Horned Frogs. That was the second stellar performance in a row for the senior, who poured in 23 points against the Longhorns.
Chery will look to stay hot tomorrow against a West Virginia team coming off one of its worst losses of the season. On Wednesday, the Mountaineers were obliterated 71-52 by Oklahoma, ending their three-game win streak.
West Virginia coach Bob Huggins did not speak kindly of his team’s performance against the Sooners. The Mountaineers fearsome press defense – which has the team surrendering just 64 points per game – was routinely shredded by the Oklahoma guards.
“The thing about playing the way we play, everybody has to know what the other guy is doing. When the other guy makes a bonehead play, you know, for instance, if your back guy is supposed to guard the basket and he runs past the ball at half court — with no chance to get it, by the way — that’s a bad play. We were back in the game at that point in time. We weren’t as disciplined in doing the things that we’ve been taught to do. There are absolutes that have to happen, and we didn’t do those”, said Huggins.
Baylor has won four of the last five games in the series, including the most recent meeting last year by 13 points.
(Photo credit: Kevin Coles (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)